FA Cup Final Preview
FA Cup final preview - All eyes will be on Wembley Stadium this Saturday when Chelsea and Liverpool compete in the 131st FA Cup final. Chelsea are the 7/10 favourites to lift the cup but with Liverpool looking to add the FA Cup to the League Cup title they won back in February this year, the 13/10 (Stan James) for the Reds to triumph looks the better betting option of the two.
Looking at the two sides going into Saturday’s showdown there’s nothing really splitting them. They both tasted defeat in the league last time out and they’ve both had a very inconsistent season. In the match result betting there doesn’t seem to be much value (6/4 Chelsea, 23/10 Draw and 21/10 Liverpool) so it may be best to concentrate of the other FA Cup betting markets available. One market that does look a decent betting proposition is the total goals in the match. FA Cup finals are usually a very trappy affair and with five of the last seven finals all containing under 2.5 goals, that looks the way to go. It’s 8/11 with Ladbrokes that the games does contain under 2.5 goals and does look a profitable bet.
Another FA Cup betting market that does appeal, is the 9/4 (Paddy Power) available for Luis Suarez to score in 90 minutes. The Liverpool striker has been instrumental for the Reds over the last month or so and with him having scored a total of seven goals in his last eight matches, including a hat-trick against Norwich in his last match, we feel that the 9/4 is slightly overpriced. Another goal scorer that you may want to have a look at is the Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. The Ivory Coast international may not have had the best of seasons in terms of scoring goals but his record in big matches speaks for itself. He played a vital part in Chelsea’s victory over Barcelona in their first leg semi-final win and has recorded a total of seven goals in his last seven appearances at Wembley. It’s 11/5 with Paddy Power for Drogba to score in 90 minutes and if he starts, that could be another good value bet.
The final FA Cup betting market we will look at is the method of victory. It’s not rare for the match of this calibre to be decided by means of a penalty shoot-out and with Liverpool having won their last three shoot-outs (League Cup against Cardiff, FA Cup against West Ham and the Champions League against AC Milan) the 11/1 available for Dalglish’s men to win by means of penalties does look a good bet.
Liverpool – Apart from missing long-term casualties Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam, Liverpool go into Saturday’s final with a full strength squad to choose from. Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez were all rested against Fulham in midweek with this match in mind and it’s expected that Andy Carroll will partner Suarez upfront. The midfield is a difficult one to predict but we favour Jay Spearing to take to the field alongside Gerrard, Downing and Henderson. In defence we think that Liverpool may go with Jose Enrique, Johnson, Kelly and Martin Skrtel.
Liverpool possible starting line-up – Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Downing, Henderson, Suarez and Carroll
Chelsea – Chelsea will be hoping that the either David Luiz or Gary Cahill will recover in time to start at the back alongside club captain John Terry but it looks most likely that Di Matteo will go with Branislav Ivanovic. Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard should return into the side after missing Tuesday’s defeat to Newcastle and we expect Didier Drogba to start as a lone striker upfront.
Chelsea possible starting line-up – Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Drogba
FA Cup Final Stats
- The five previous FA Cup finals have been won by a one-goal margin and the two before that went to penalties
- Liverpool have won their last three penalty shoot-outs
- Suarez has scored seven goals in his last eight games
- Liverpool have conceded exactly one goal in each of their FA Cup matches this season
- Liverpool have won two of their last eight Premier League games.
- Chelsea haven’t beaten Liverpool in their last four games. A run dating back to May 2010.
- Under Di Matteo, Chelsea have won 11, drawn four and lost two in all competitions
- Drogba has scored every time he’s played at Wembley - seven goals in seven appearances
- Chelsea have appeared in three of the last five FA Cup finals, winning all three
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